Carpinteria State Beach Iceplant Removal and Native Plant Revegetation Project
CIR is working in partnership with South Coast Habitat Restoration, Carpinteria State Beach and the Carpinteria Creek Coalition (with funding provided by the Southern California Wetland Recovery Project) on a innovative project to remove iceplant at the foot of Carpinteria Creek at the State Beach. CIR staff and volunteers first "solarized" the iceplant (eradicated it by placing sheets of black plastic over the iceplant thereby heating it and depriving it of light). While leaving the dead iceplant in place, CIR staff and volunteers installed nearly 2000 native plants after the plastic was removed.
This technique allows for the eradication of the iceplant without the use of herbicides, and leaving the dead iceplant in place prevents erosion (hand-removal of the iceplant would destabilize the soil and possiblely cause erosion). The dead iceplent aslo acts as a mulch, helping to control weeds, while keeping soil moisture high around the installed native plants.
The sites was a bit challenging since the iceplant was growing on a steep banks, that were several hundred feet long, mostly comprising sand and rock. Despite the challenges, all of the iceplant was eradicated and at least 90% of the installed plants survived.